Man who attacked stranger in Plymouth club attack denies intent
A MAN who repeatedly punched and kicked a stranger in a club brawl has said he did not want to hurt him "in a million years".
Thomas Field, aged 22, admitted to a court that he stamped on the man as he lay on the floor.
He told a jury: "It was over the top and I admit it was disgusting, but I never meant to hurt anyone."
Victim Alex Wheeler was left in intensive care with bleeding on the brain and still has problems with his memory more than a year later, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
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Field, of Ladysmith Road, in St Judes, admits causing him grievous bodily harm without intent at the Bang! Bang! Club in North Hill on November 27, 2011. But he denies the more serious charge of causing such harm with intent.
Field told his trial he was drunk when Mr Wheeler's friend Ryan Jones bumped into him, spilling his drink.
He said he reacted calmly but Mr Jones "started shouting and screaming".
Field said Wheeler came over and started acting aggressively, challenging Field's friend Sam Quinn to a fight outside, the jury was told.
The defendant said he stepped back in a narrow corridor leading to the smoking area.
He added: "I turned back and saw [another friend] Joe Cadogan punching Alex Wheeler and Alex Wheeler punching him.
"I did not know what was going on or who started it. I just reacted. There was no rational thought process."
His barrister Ali Rafati asked: "Do you accept you went way over the top?"
Field replied: "Totally. I am disgusted at myself for it."
The jury again watched CCTV footage which showed Field aiming a flurry of punches at Mr Wheeler.
Mr Wheeler stumbles to the ground and Fields knocks him down with a punch as he tries to get up.
He then stamps on Mr Wheeler as he lies on the ground.
Field later steps over the unconscious man as he leaves the club.
He told the jury he did not realise how badly Mr Wheeler was injured.
"Never in a million years would I wish that on anyone," Field said. "It was never my intention to hurt anyone."
Judge Graham Cottle is due to sum up today, with the jury due to go out to consider its verdict.